Shivas was born in Aberdeen and grew up in Edinburgh. She earned a B.Ed (Hons) from Dunfermline College, Edinburgh, an M.A in Philosophy of Education from London University where she also did graduate work on Dance and Philosophy, and an MFA in Poetry from Drew University, NJ.
She taught for several years in schools, at London University, and most recently has taught Scottish literature and poetry through the Osher at Dartmouth College program. She has led a poetry group in her local library for many years.
She won second prize in the Reuben Rose (Israel) competition 1994, was runner-up in the 2006 National Galleries of Scotland competition and winner of the 2016 Tyne and Esk Writer of the Year poetry section. Her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies in Israel, New Zealand, the USA and Scotland, including Across Borders, Causeway, Northwords Now, Lallans, Voices Israel, Determinations 2, Inspired, Get Writing, Osher Anthology 2016 and From the Lighthouse.
Her first collection of poetry, Whit Grace, was published by Word Poetry, Cincinnati, (2017).